Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour reopens after a spiffy makeover with a slew of new eateries – Marc de Passorio (ex-Harbour Society) is at the helm of new restaurant La Maree, try out the new café French Press, a bunker bar called Lost Property and of course a classic Champagne bar, Sabrage. Aiming to demonstrate just what New Zealand food is really all about, Ahi in Commercial Bay, is the latest venture from Ben Bayly, with co-owner Chris Martin leading front of house. Watch this space for more… Keep dreaming about that holiday in Bali, but for now head to Rosanna’s Garden Bar in Kingsland, all lush tropical greenery, fairy lights and a stunning pink flamingo. Traditional New York City steakhouse with contemporary touches that celebrate New Zealand ingredients – that’s the new Saxon & Parole in Commercial Bay, which boasts an extensive raw bar selection, seafood towers, grass- and grain-fed steaks and a seasonal American pie bar. We are delighted that Abhijit Dey (see Cuisine July 2019) is doing a stint at The Sugar Club standing in for Giada Grilli (see Cuisine May 2020) as she goes on maternity leave. A little off the beaten track, search out Deep, a new café in Rosedale – any place that offers French toast with truffle mascarpone has to be worth a look. Long known in the trade,

Vibe Coffee Roasters have opened their own café in Wairau Valley and it goes without saying that the coffee is seriously interesting – charcoal latte, anyone? Commercial Bay just keeps on coming and a new opening is Spectra on the 7th floor of the PwC building, a café serving daytime fare, Kōkako coffee and Zealong tea, it has a takeaway kiosk too if you’re on the fly. The industrious team behind Lowbrow present Nook, an informal eatery in St Kevin’s Arcade inspired by Japanese izakaya and yakitori joints (see page 144 for more). Get yourself to Dominion Road and find Omni, an intriguing mix of yakitori cooked over binchotan and natural wine. Think yourself lucky to be in Mt Albert because of Dear Jane, the sort of neighbourhood place every suburb should have. Non Solo Pizza – a Parnell favourite for nigh on 25 years – has a gorgeous new look and a menu to match, as if any excuse were needed to hang out in that cool courtyard. Café Hanoi, celebrating its 10th birthday, has been on the move shifting next door to a bigger space with an open kitchen with chef’s-table counter seating, a conservatory with windows looking out onto Galway Street, a separate bar and a large private dining room. And in a game of musical tables, expecting to open in late spring Michael Meredith’s new restaurant Mr Morris will move into the old Café Hanoi premises. In Ellerslie it’s hard to ignore Mr Tanaka’s Yakitori Hut, just the sort of place we want to settle down with a beer and a cocktail and some seriously good eats. Park Hyatt Auckland on Auckland’s waterfront location features four restaurants and bars, a day spa and fitness centre and event spaces – inspired by a Māori wharenui there is a seriously impressive carved waka, a light installation inspired by traditional weaving, a moat and a sky-high atrium.


The Duke of Wellington is a new gastropub in the Hotel Waterloo with a French bistro orientation and chef Laurent Loudeac (ex-Hippopotamus)  at the helm. Growing from the super- popular food truck, Wilson Barbecue now has permanent digs in Johnsonville doing breakfast, too. Grab a bagel from Best Ugly’s newest eatery on Featherston Street. Ohhh, it’s nearly summer (glass half-full, you know) and Duck Island Ice Cream comes to Cuba Street with scoops, tubs, sundaes even sangas and cakes of totally lickable handmade ice cream.


14th Lane Hotel is Blenheim‘s newest small hotel. With just eight rooms in a beautiful heritage building, you can cosy up close to everything you’ll need.


Margo’s is an explosion of colour, energy and super-delicious Mexican food in the heart of The Mall – all the fajitas, tacos, enchiladas and nachos you could wish for and a ton of vegan options, too. Jacks Point Restaurant will see some new aesthetics from 10 November where Vaughan Mabee and his appointed head chef from Amisfield, Mathieu Lagarde, will focus on locally sourced ingredients cooked over a woodfire.


Right on the waterfront in St Clair, tītī is the new venture of chef Hannes Bareiter and Melanie Hartman (formerly of Glenfalloch Garden and Restaurant) – a great option is their set-course ‘trust the chef’ dinner when you can choose two, three or five courses.